News Roundup - 8th October 2021
Work is going on behind the scenes to re-open the White Lion at Broadwindsor as a community pub.
A steering group is meeting regularly to move the project forward. It comprises David Leader (chair), Susanna Newall, Sandra Burrows, Charles Ouin, Luke Pickering, Andrew Hookings, Chris Newall, John Heys, Margery Hookings, Fraser Hughes and Chris Edgerley.
Between them, group members have a wide range of skills and experience. We believe that securing the right deal with Palmers represents the best – and only – chance for the White Lion to re-open at the heart of our community. We want it to happen, and we know the community does too. We need to raise at least £30,000 to make it a reality.
Agreement with Palmers has been reached but not yet signed. We can’t tell you all that’s been happening because some of the detail is commercially sensitive. However, it’s our intention to publicise a summary of our meetings to keep you updated as best we can.
Save the White Lion, summary of meeting 6/10/21
Community Benefit Society application – due to be incorporated within next 3 weeks. Share issue put to community (like the village did for the shop).
Business plan – final version almost ready. All payments need to be made by end of year 3.
Funding – seeking grant from Broadwindsor Group Parish Council. Applications to grant funding bodies identified as most likely to support project. Comrades Arms trading well, taking £1,200 in first four days. Two villagers planning two events in aid of Save the White Lion, in addition to regular discos where bar takings will go to pub fund. More details soon.
Yard of ale fundraising ‘thermometer’ to be placed in the Square.
Bank account – can be started only when we are a Community Benefit Society.
Job advert for manager/chef – not much response yet. Exploring other outlets.
Logo – new logo in consultation with Palmers. Original pub sign (pre-dating existing one) by George Biles will be displayed internally.
Refurbishment – ongoing discussions on updating interior and adapting layout for ambience, efficiency and increased number of covers. Kitchen left sparkly clean by Spike and Vikki. Now to cost kitchen equipment etc for business plan.
Timeline – end of October/early November – approach community on share issue.
Christmas/New Year – hope to be open.
Facelift for The White Lion
The White Lion is a hive of activity this week as a team from Palmers Brewery team give the pub an exterior facelift.
Doors, windows and fascia boards are being rubbed down and painted in preparation for the day when the pub reopens its doors.
Steering group chairman David Leader said: ‘It’s fantastic to see that Palmers are investing in the White Lion. All the outside woodwork is being cleaned, prepared and repainted. This will make a huge difference to the appearance of such a beautiful historic building which sits at the heart of our community. We are very grateful to Palmers.’
Yesterday (Tuesday 5 October), previous landlords Spike and Vikki handed in their keys as their tenancy came to an end and said a final goodbye to the place that was their home for nearly four years.
Through social media, Vikki said: ‘Thank you all for your support and wish you well for the future x.’
The couple are now running The New Inn at Blagdon on the Mendips.
Meanwhile, the Save The White Lion steering group is working hard behind the scenes to re-open and run the White Lion as a community pub.
Grant applications to various funding bodies are being submitted and a share issue is being prepared to be offered to villagers. More details soon – watch this space!
Could you run The White Lion at Broadwindsor?
Would you like to be at the heart of a truly special Community Pub Project in the beautiful place that is Dorset?
Applications are now open for a manager or management team.
What can you expect at The Comrades Arms?
You can expect a warm and cheery welcome, friendship and prices that won’t hurt your wallet.
Yes, the Comrades Arms is opening again on 1 October – and, this time, raising money to save the White Lion.
Back in 2017, when the pub was closed between landlords, the Comrades Arms in the Lewesdon Room raised a fair few pennies for the Comrades Hall – almost £2,000 in four weeks. And the bar was back for the World Cup in 2018 when villagers enjoyed football matches on the big screen.
So it seems only natural to open up the Comrades Arms to tide us all over until the White Lion roars once more.
It’s a place where locals can get together for a chinwag, a laugh and put the world to rights while enjoying a glass or two or real ale, fine wines and a range of shorts and soft drinks.
Organiser Andrew Hookings, who is assembling a team of volunteers to help run the sessions on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday lunchtimes, will be launching the £3 Club.
He says: “Customers will be able to drink from a range of beers, lagers and ciders at £3 a pint or a can, from a range of wines at £3 a glass or shorts and mixers for £3.’
And as the winner of the Comrades Arms pool competition in 2017, he’s looking forward to organising another competition and defending his trophy.
Fish and chips from Nat’s van on Tuesdays, regular quizzes and themed food nights look set to be a winning combination.
The team of volunteers is looking forward to welcoming customers with open arms at the Comrades Arms from Friday 1 October at 6pm.
Says Andrew: ‘It’s about friendship and community.’